This Gorgeous Freediving Video Will Take Your Breath Away—No, Seriously

A short film follows an underwater freediver as he swims among dolphins, sea turtles, and sharks.

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In recent years, underwater freediving—diving without breathing equipment—has found new popularity. Dating back thousands of years, it’s an ancient tradition and a recognized sport, but for Carlos Eyles, freediving is a way of life.

In the short documentary Still, Eyles, a freediver and photographer based in Hawaii, floats through coral reefs photographing dolphins and sea turtles. Eyles says, “the ocean exists as a fundamental reality of the earth. Through that mirror, you can see the fundamental reality of yourself.” Eyles has currently written ten books based around the ocean.

The film was shot over a month in Hawaii, with most of the footage coming from five days of underwater shooting. According to Michael Barth, one of the filmmakers of Still, “[Eyles] really is a Mr. Miyagi of the sea … Sometimes he felt like swimming in the sea longer than any of us young guns could keep up and other days he just needed a day off to play his bongos.”

Still is a film by Michael Barth, José Tadeu Bijos, Pasqual Gutierrez, and Ruby Stocking. Additional underwater footage was captured by Tom Lyon and Sarah Lee.

To see more work from Carlos Eyles, including photography, books, and more, please visit his website.

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Sam Price-Waldman is an associate video producer at The Atlantic. More

Price-Waldman's documentaries have been featured by Vimeo Staff Picks, on PBS, and at film festivals including AFI SilverDocs and Full Frame.
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